February 23, 2019

The Doris Team

Rachel de Garang – Artist Programming

Rachel came to Doris way way back in the early 2000, she joined us a a dance teacher and quickly found her “home” in this community of creative and culturally diverse individuals, passionate about dance rhythm and sleeping outside! She went on to join the board and was chair for over 10 years, being a fantastic Doris ambassador and holding us together when it looked like Doris might end completely.  She came to the UK  from South Sudan in 1969, established her own Samba troupe, African Sambistas in 2008, a Facilitator and an Equality and Diversity trainer for Businesses, Community groups and Organisations.

Vandna Mehta – Diverse Artists Network Development Worker

Vandna found Doris very soon after she arrived in Bristol 7 years ago with her son. She recognised that this was an organisation she wanted to be part of, she was invited to teach a movement, mantras & meditation workshop and fell in love with the whole ethos of the Tribe of Doris Festival.

She later helped Doris run Women of The world meetings (WOW) and when Tribe Of Doris started the Diverse Artist Network (DAN), Vandna stepped into the role of developing the network, organising the events, CPD’s, linking artists to promoters and finding work, growing the network to have an impact on the Bristol Cultural scene and wider. Now the network is known across the city and plays a significant role in raising the diversity representation within the arts sector.

Maria Del Mar Hollis Oyaga – Doris Festival Manager

Maria reluctantly came to Doris when she was 14, wondering if it was a cult of hippies!  She soon found herself in a new inspiring home where she found pride in her own Colombian roots and culture. She soon put her talents to good use and started volunteering with us at 17 organising our Tribe Of Doris Music and Voice area at Shambala  Festival. Over the next few years she developed Koo Kou’s a new Shambala venue, bringing a rich programme to the stage and workshops. When in 2011, Doris was thinking of stopping she with Rachel and Richie said “No, not so fast”. After some development time, she became at the young age of 25 the Organisational Manger  or the Big OM, for the whole business. With the rest of the team she began to bring back a thriving Tribe of Doris into the next decade, designing, building the website and developing new structures and teams for the summer school , growing the event back up from 90 to 1200. Now she has stepped out of the Big Om role and is the artistic lead and  director for the Festival.

Richie Bryan – Non Executive Director

Richie has been coming to Tribe of Doris since he was 22 . He comes from an  Anglo Indian background with a keen sense of inclusion he started as a volunteer steward, graduated into the Youth area spreading love and joy and a wild dress sense  across the Doris fields. Then in 2011, with Rachel and Maria he made it his job to ensure that Doris was not finished but survived to bring joy and happiness to more people and new communities . He valiantly took on the role of administration for 4 years, and reluctantly gave it up when he moved to London. Richie has a great love of community and plays a key role in spreading the love and keeping the heart of Doris beating to the tune of community, cultural representation and love . He is  a member of the board and helps us to deliver the Tribe of Doris events in many ways especially hosting the evening entertainments.


Deasy  Bamford – The Inspiration

Deasy had the bright idea of starting a Drumming Convention 27 years ago  and that bright idea has survived and evolved through, the Summer School  to become ToD Festival. Being an educator at heart she and her friend and collaborator  Siobhan Kierans developed a unique event that revolved around learning, not consumption , around valuing and respecting the cultural art forms and the  practitioners from many cultures around the world . This is the spirit of Tribe Of Doris and is still at the heart of all we do. Having run the organisation for over 20 years it’s time to  make sure that the organisation can stand alone with a new team who can develop what is special about Doris and reach new communities. Now her role is one of helping to fundraise , filling in  gaps when needed and being part of the team, not the leader of the team, exploring new creative ideas developing the project in Barra in The Gambia, that has been slowly growing over the 27 years and now  maybe she can spend more time there and welcome travellers from Doris and beyond to winter sunshine, cultural creativity and community development.